An updated look at the Raiders' possible 2012 lineup

April 2, 2012, 2:56 pm
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Because they have a new head coach, the Raiders get a two-week head start on other teams in their offseason workout program. And because Dennis Allen will be meeting his team as a group for the first time today in Alameda (media access has yet to be announced), what better time than to look at what the Raiders' starting lineup would look like if the season started today.I know, I know, much too soon, right? Besides, I did this same exercise a few weeks back, no?Well, the free agency season is in full swing now and new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie made some moves in signing cornerbacks Shawntae Spencer, Ron Bartell and Pat Lee, linebacker Philip Wheeler, right guard Mike Brisiel and re-signing offensive linemen Cooper Carlisle and Khalif Barnes while acquiring running back Mike Goodson from Carolina for underachieving offensive lineman Bruce Campbell. Not to mention the three compensatory draft picks Oakland landed in the third, fourth and fifth rounds to go with their existing fifth- and sixth-round selections.So yeah, why not take a look into a certain silver and black crystal ballOFFENSE
QB -- Carson Palmer (re-learning footwork not for DWTS audition, rather, for new West Coast Offense)RB -- Darren McFadden (the next snap he takes with Palmer will be his first)FB -- Marcel Reece (hybrid talents will be put to use in new offense)WR -- Darrius Heyward-Bey (no one can ever question his work ethic)WR -- Denarius Moore (spectacular at times, but has also disappeared at others)Slot -- Jacoby Ford (injuries and Jason Campbell things of his past?)TE -- Brandon Myers (will be pushed hard by David Ausberry)LT -- Jared Veldheer (should be a fixture protecting QB's blind side)LG -- Cooper Carlisle (would move over from right guard, only position he's ever played in Oakland)C -- Stefen Wisniewski (would slide back to center from left guard, where he excelled)RG -- Mike Brisiel (knows ZBS intimately from time in Houston)RT -- Khalif Barnes (Raiders not ready to hand gig to Joe Barksdale just yet, apparently)DEFENSE
DE -- Lamaar Houston (production needs to match his intensity now)DT -- Tommy Kelly (could make case he's actually outplayed Seymour past two years)DT -- Richard Seymour (owns the locker room and sets the bar)DE -- Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder surgery short-circuited his breakout year)WLB -- Aaron Curry (yes, he seems genuinely excited to be remaining in Oakland)MLB -- Rolando McClain (have we already seen the best of McClain, or can Dennis Allen get more?)SLB --Philip Wheeler (what he lacks in sacks he purportedly makes up for in run defense)CB -- Shawntae Spencer (physical corner should enjoy change of scenery)CB -- Ronald Bartell (if neck is fine, he should be an upgrade over returning corners)FS -- Michael Huff (rumors of his moving to CB seem just that now)SS -- Tyvon Branch (Raiders can find more cap room by inking franchise-tagged Branch to long-term deal)